The Debrief: Battling Blues run out of steam

A game of three acts

The balance of the contest swung in both directions throughout the 90 minutes, sometimes subtly but often drastically. The Blues dominated before Lukaku’s breakthrough goal, with six shots to Brighton’s two and four on target to zero from the Seagulls, while we also passed more accurately (87 per cent completion) and won more duels (70 per cent in the air, 75 per cent on the ground) during that period.

Yet Brighton’s response to falling behind was impressive, their energy and intensity often overwhelming Tuchel’s side in midfield. From the half-hour mark to the 70th minute, they out-shot us 14-0, five of those bringing saves from Edouard Mendy in the Blues goal, outplayed us with 55 per cent possession (our passing accuracy also dropped to 72 per cent) and outfought us as our duels win percentage fell to 53 per cent. 

It echoed a common refrain from Tuchel that his team are struggling to manage match situations when they go in front, though that was not aided on this occasion by losing two key defenders to injury.

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